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Pensacola Local Stories – UWF Student Shares Her Love With Children in Need

I’ll deviate a little from my typical Pensacola real estate posts and share some news about a local student who will be making a big difference in the lives of children on the other side of the world.

I typically go to church on Saturday nights at Cokesbury United Methodist church on 9th avenue across from Pensacola Junior College. I like going Saturday nights because there is an awesome band that plays at the church. I say “plays”, but I should say “rocks”. This band really does rock out the praise and worship music. If you are in to that sort of thing, I highly recommend checking them out at 6:00 PM on Saturday nights. But on to the story.

One Saturday night a couple of weeks ago, a girl gave a short speech at the church. She talked about graduating from UWF and then going to Kenya to help children who were orphans of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. It is estimated that there are over a million AIDS orphaned children in Kenya. And HIV/AIDS is just one of many problems they are facing over there. Lonely_African_Child

I was overcome with emotion listening to her speak of the conditions in Kenya and the work she would be doing with the children. I found it hard to imagine graduating from college, with the option of staying home, close to friends and family, and living a comfortable Pensacola lifestyle, but instead deciding to go to a poor unstable country and risk everything to help out children in need. This student has become someone in Pensacola who I truly admire and respect.

Her name is Mary Ann Kaiser and she writes a blog about her upcoming trip and news of what is happening in Kenya. Her blog address is .  (And be sure to click on her “About Me” link to learn more about her mission). I hope you’ll take the time to visit her site, send her your positive energy, pray for her, and support her in this great humanitarian mission she is about to undertake. It takes great courage and character to make such a commitment, and I honor her as a true heroine of our community

Mary Ann still has some time in Pensacola before she leaves, and she has said she enjoys talking to groups about her mission to Kenya. If you have any interest in learning more, I recommend contacting her through her web site. If you hear her speak, you will know it is coming from her heart, and I hope you would be as moved as I was. Thanks Mary Ann

Article Update – March 2010:  Going back to this article 2 years later, I checked out Mary Ann’s blog again. She ended up in Nigeria instead of Kenya, but was still doing the good work. She has now returned to the United States. I was fascinated by her account of returning to Pensacola and how different it is here, and her feelings on it. Unfortunately, she has now created a private blog and only her close friends and relations are able to keep up with her. But the old blog is still up and it is fascinating reading. I spent over an hour last night enjoying all that she shared.

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Upside2Downs – Support for Local People Who Are Affected By Down Syndrome


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